Gene Expression

Thabet points me to this interactive map which breaks down attitudes to Creationism in the United Kingdom by region. Refreshingly the sentiment in favor of Creationism is far lower than the United States. Below the fold I’ve reformatted the data for easier viewing and comparison.

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Below is a map with the regions labeled. Wales is blue because it is the only region where theist evolution is plural majority (all other areas have atheistic evolution as the majority position).

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What’s going on here? Wales & Northern Ireland fit our expectations as relatively more religious regions within England. Sectarian strife has given rise to robust Fundamentalism in Northern Ireland, while Wales has rural regions which we can expect to be socially conservative. The pattern within England is strange. London has a large number of Creationists. Why? I suspect is the vibrant multicultural nature of the city. Though the proportion of Christians is far lower in the rest of the United Kingdom, the number of those with “No Religions” seems the same, if not lower, than other regions.

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This is a map of Muslims by region. I think this group is important to focus on since it is known to be a relatively Creationist segment in the United States, and there are anecdotal reports of anti-evolutionist antagonism from Muslims students in the United Kingdom. A diverse society naturally leads to diversity of opinion and world views. Evolution is a science was the product of white male hegemonic structures, and has historically been aligned with an atheist materialist sensibility which has marginalized the Other. Naturally that would result in some suspicion toward its “Truth” claims from those who evaluate assertions with non-Western heuristics and frameworks. There is more to the world out there than white European atheistic materialism, and as the percentage of peoples of color increase in Western nations naturally one would see a revival of Other Ways of Knowing which rely on culturally contextualized Truth Frames.*

* The caveat here is that most East Asian people are more materialistic than white Europeans, on average. But most immigration to Western nations is not from East Asia, so as the number of West & South Asians & Africans increases in Europe the proportion of believers will also increase.

Comments

  1. #1 John Emerson
    March 2, 2009

    The area around Liverpool and Manchester seems to have a relatively high Muslim population and the lowest evolutionism of all. In general, the North just south of Scotland has the fewest evolutionists, all the way down to Wales in the West, and less far South in the East. I’m not sure about other traits of the area, but IIRC it’s a declining rustbelt area with high leftism, and strongly alienated youth cultures including pure hooligans.

  2. #2 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 2, 2009

    It may be worth noting that there is some speculation that the high numbers in London may be from the higher percentage of Pentecostalists in the city. (See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/02/charles-darwin-creationism-intelligent-design for more details).

  3. #3 Ross
    March 2, 2009

    The Guardian’s headline “Four out of five Britons repudiate creationism” is very misleading. The only way of doing that is by classifying ID as not being creationism.

  4. #4 Eamon
    March 3, 2009

    “Wales & Northern Ireland fit our expectations as relatively more religious regions within England.”

    I can’t speak for Wales, but Northern Ireland isn’t part of England, just the United Kingdom.

    “Sectarian strife has given rise to robust Fundamentalism in Northern Ireland”

    I think it’s more the case that the Troubles kept the tide of secularism out rather than lead to the rise of fundamentalism.

    Thank god the combined Evolution percetages for N.I. are above 50%

  5. #5 bioIgnoramus
    March 3, 2009

    “Why? I suspect is the vibrant multicultural nature of the city.” That used to be referred to as “full of bloody foreigners”.
    P.S. Wales isn’t part of England either.
    P.P.S. It’s the Nurdgaia’s mission in life to be very misleading.
    P.P.P.S. Wales, Welsh apparently come from the early German, meaning “Romanised foreigners”, as in Walloon and Vlach. It’s been a wee while since the Welsh seemed conspicuously Romanised.

  6. #6 Topic Agnostic
    March 3, 2009

    It is suggested at the end of the article that “there is more to the world out there than white European atheistic materialism”, as if science is a philosophy or a worldview. On the contrary, it’s a system for determining what actually is true. How are experiments repeatable by persons of any race or religion culturally contextualized?

  7. #7 Human Flesh
    March 3, 2009

    Wales is not part of England.

  8. #8 Alan
    March 3, 2009

    Why does the top map show the entire UK and the bottom only England?

  9. #9 Andy Riddick
    March 4, 2009

    I was found to have an IQ of 180 when I was 8 years old (that was the ceiling), and again at the age of 15 I was tested and found to have an IQ of 197 (the test had a higher ceiling).

    As a super-high IQ individual, I must say I am offended at the suggestion that creationists are dolts. I believe in the Bible literally, and most would regard me as a sensible person.

    I have come to accept the word of Christ after years of meddling in Sufism, Hinduism, and agnosticism.

    For those who believe scientific reductionism holds all of the answers, I highly recommend Fritjof Capra to dispel such illusions. From there, I recommend a thorough reading of C.S. Lewis.

  10. #10 Eamon
    March 5, 2009

    @Alan

    There are administrative divisions in the UK. The divisions used to be: Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England & Wales.

    Whilst these generally still hold the spread of devolution means that areas with devolved assemblies or parliaments can handle their own statistics gathering. Often this leaves the national parliament just gathering the statistics for England, which may have happened in this case.

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